Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Food Frenzy at Chateau Elan- Part III

As you enter the hotel and go past the lobby, the hotel opens up to this gorgeous center courtyard area. The breakfast, dinner and lunch buffet happens here at Versailles. We had lunch there with a variety of foods and salads.
We had lunch here with a variety of foods and salads.
For dinner we went back over to the winery (it's a separate building than the hotel) and had dinner at Cafe Elan. Its very open and has a great atmosphere.
David had the house salad and salmon over a bed of rice (his is on the left side) and I had Cesar salad with tortellini and vegetables. We were stuffed from all this and the loaf of bread they give you to start with so we skipped dessert and ate our chocolate covered strawberries at the hotel.
I love how the wine bottles are in the background of our photo. We ate in the back of the restaurant so it was good for scenery. 
The next morning we didn't want a big buffet for breakfast so we opted to try the golf course restaurant. There was no one in there at all so we had the whole place to ourselves. We watched some golfers get started and enjoyed our breakfast.
David ordered the golfer's breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese and bacon. I opted for the cinnamon french toast with yummy bacon! It hit the spot.
They have really thought of everything at Chateau Elan. After breakfast we went for a walk around one of their trails that they have on site. It goes around to the spa and loops back. They also have tennis and a playground that we saw on the way.
We hit the pool some more, packed up and headed for lunch on the way out. We went to Paddy's Irish Pub. It is a cool little place inside. We had Chicken fingers, Fish and chips and Sausage with Mashed potatoes. We were trying to use the rest of our meal plan money. I went over a little, oopsy, I think my eyes were way bigger than my stomach.

We had a great time exploring every inch of Chateau Elan. If anyone needs recommendations or tips, let us know. Thanks so much David for planning our trip! Cheers! Pin It

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Into the Winery & Vineyard! Part II

After spending the morning relaxing by the pool and eating lunch we decided to head to the winery for a tour. They showed us how traditionally barrels were used, but you can only reuse them a few times and that gets expensive. They have switched to stainless steel fermentation tanks.
To keep the cedar flavor from the barrels, they use cedar chips in the tanks.
Here are the fermentation tanks. They are temperature regulated and as you can see, this one had ice on the side! They chill the wine to stop the fermentation process.
We also got to see the bottling, corking and labeling area. Our tour guide was a bit annoying and would always have a personal story about wine and her experiences with it. Let's just say she wasn't very wine educated, which she needed to be.
Onto the tasting! We had over 40-50 people in our group. It was a huge group and hard to maneuver around, but the bar area went across the whole back of the gift shop so we all fit. We even got to keep the wine glasses as souvenirs.
We got to try 5 different wines.You can see the list of wines behind us. Here is an interesting fact. The only grapes they grow on the property are for the Pinot Grigio. They import other grapes from Georgia and California. That was a little disappointing to me, but guess I'll have to make it out to California wine country one day. David enjoyed the Port, which is a dessert wine and we tasted it with chocolate. We brought home their best seller, a Summer sweet wine, and the Pinot Grigio.
After the tasting we decided to go explore the vineyards. The muscadines are a type of grape that is used to make the Pinot Grigio. Here I am with my shopping bag of wine ready to explore.
The grapes are hard to see unless you get really close to them.
We had fun with the camera and set it up on a picnic table to take some shots. Here's the best one, it kinda looks like I'm falling, but we are experts so no worries.
View from the top of the winery going into the vineyard. It was a very fun day and we enjoyed ourselves. I bet you are wondering what we ate though. Stay tuned tomorrow for the food post, because besides wine that's the most important thing, right?
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Anniversary Weekend- Part I

The big mystery surprise for this weekend is out of the bag! Turns out we didn't have to travel very far at all to get to our destination.
Anyone starting to recognize it?
How about now? OK, one more final hint.
Yup, that's right! 
We went to Chateau Elan Winery and Resort!! 

Since there is a lot to post about, I'm going to break them up. Today I will show you some of the grounds and decor. When we arrived we got our welcome letter and I got to see all the planning that David put into our weekend.
Here is the letter. He had booked the culinary package, doesn't he know me so well, its all about the food. It made our experience more like the all-inclusive feel, but the tips and alcohol weren't included. They have 5-7 restaurants (depending if you want to count the lounges). We tried 4.

Our room was incredible. As you can see above, he opted for the suite upgrade. I can't argue with that, it was beautiful! The size of an apartment.
David went the extra mile and brought some finishing touches to make it even more special.  He brought the roses, chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, etc... Didn't he do a great job! We also wrote each other hand-written notes (paper is the first anniversary gift). I have to give him even more credit because he wrote his before and I waited till we got there. Mine did have Chateau Elan stationery and envelope though, so we'll always remember where we went.

Oh, and did I mention, we rode in style to the resort!
He went out of the way and bought us a Mercedes, Just kidding! His brother, Darrin let us borrow his for the weekend! Thanks Darrin and Stacey!
Here's a close up of the car for all you car lovers out there. It's nice enough to be alone in its own picture. I also wanted to give Erin R a shout out! Thanks so much for watching all of our crazy animals!! You are the best and it's great to have a friend we can count on to stay at our house and take care of our babies. Stay tuned for activities and dining at Chateau Elan! Pin It

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!

This weekend David and I will celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary! The year has really flown by and we have loved being married. I am thinking back and remembering all the hard work that everyone in our families put in for the wedding.  A year ago today we were changing flower water (since we were doing our own flowers), getting ready for the rehearsal/dinner and running around with our heads cut off. I'm so glad we don't have to do that part over again. The day we got married David worked his butt off. He ran to Michael's probably 2-3 times, helped assemble flowers, loaded up the wedding arch/arbor, transported everything and helped set up at the venue. This was all while I was getting my hair/makeup done and eating a yummy edible arrangement he sent for me and subs he went and got for us. He really made everything run smoothly and also somehow magically stopped the rain from coming. It rained all around us and the storm clouds were looking terrible, but we never did get rained on officially. It made for a cooler/semi-cloudy outdoor wedding which was perfect for pictures (no squinting). I will show you some photos from the wedding and share some interesting facts that you may or may not have known about David and I.
 This is the color board the designers at work did for our work blog, but it shows all of the color details of the wedding (some of the favors aren't the ones I used, but it looked so great I thought I'd show you.

-We met at the Bland House. Georgia Southern people know what I'm talking about. They were having a house Party (my first and last house party that we ever went to). An interesting fact about the bland house was if you saw them sitting in their driveway on recliners that day then you knew there was a party that night. Cops got called within the first half hour of us being there.

-David introduced himself as George at the party (funny guy huh). So one day at school I passed him and said hi and I told my friends "I saw George today".
-Our first date was to a Dairy Queen. I was sick and had this horrible cough that lasted for weeks so he was sweet and we went to get milkshakes.

-We dated 6 years before we got married.

-We got engaged on a trip to the Dominican Republic.

-I am from New York State, went to school in Georgia, moved to Florida with David and we are back in Georgia. David is Georgia born and raised, but his family is from Chicago. Northern at heart :)
-David spent the 3-4 months before we got married in another state for work. Good thing for my sister who came to stay with me for the last month!

-David built the arch we got married under. We keep it in our backyard now and can always remember our day.

-We honeymooned in the Riviera Maya, Mexico.
We are going on a secret (to me anyway) little overnight trip for our anniversary so I will report back next week on where and what we are doing!! I'm so excited! Happy Anniversary to the best husband and guy I know. I love you!! Pin It

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Top Three Thursday-Purchases

This week's top 3 is on top purchases we've made recently!
1. Roomba- I continue to love my roomba. You can see my post here, where I showed you how he works. It saves so much time and really does get the job done. He is a welcome member of our "cleaning crew".
2. Crockpot/Slow cooker- The other week when we were going to have David's parents over for dinner. I made burned BBQ pulled chicken. I didn't add enough bbq sauce and it burned the crockpot. I scrubbed for over a week and it wasn't going to come out. It's time for a new crockpot! We haven't actually purchased this yet, but this is what we want. Something that is programmable so we can set the time for increments instead of just the low, high settings we used to have. Mine is never in there for 8 hours, its usually 9-10 hours  by the time i get home from work. This one also has a locked lid so no spilling during transport!
3. Nalgenes!- I recently purchased these water bottles or as Leah likes to call them, Nalgenes. The brand is Nalgene so she just calls it that, but they are water bottles to me. The name is growing on me though. The good thing about these is that they are made in the USA, they are bpa free and dishwasher safe! I got matching ones in different colors for David and me. It really helps to keep track of how much water you are drinking daily. You can get these at REI. 
I know Michelle's top purchase will be here new Iphone4!! I took her to the airport this morning and 5 minutes before we left, the door bell rang. It was Fedex with her new Iphone!!!! We knew it was going to be delivered today before 3, but her flight was at 2 so we had to go. She will have to do a post reviewing it. I just love the way it looks!
What is your top 3 purchases? To see more Top Three Thursday posts, check out Southern in the City's blog and the people that link up to her! Pin It

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Girls Day!

Yesterday I took off of work to hang out with my sister. We had fun doing things that girls do best. We went to get pedicures, went to lunch and ended with a girly movie at the theater.
Here is a pic of my toes with cute shoes that Michelle let me wear today. Did I mention, she also brought clothes so I can wear new outfits to work. She has some cute things!
The movie was really funny, definitely not boy friendly. We enjoyed watching and laughing though. Sitting behind us were 8 older women (60's) who were having a girls outing as well. They made the most hilarious comments for the movie. They would say things like "mmhmmm Haven't we all been there!" After the movie, they were walking out trying to figure out which character each of them were.
We ended the day with a fun trip to the lake to let our zoo animal doggies out for a swim. Maddie was hesitant and played from the shore most them time, but good times were had by all. Molly and Lola both grabbed a hold of the big log and tried to swim it back. Everything is a competition for them.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Santa Fe Chicken Wraps and Mexican Rice

Where did the weekend go? Oh, that's right, it was spent in the car! It was worth it though, we have Michelle and the animals safely in Georgia. It is pretty much going to be a zoo this week at our house. We have Molly (our dog), Lola (David and Dana's Dog), Maddie (Michelle's Dog) and Bella (Shell's Cat). Maddie is having a hard time adjusting to the big dogs, but it will get better. We will have visiting hours at the zoo and field trips to the lake.

I am posting delicious Mexican Recipes for you to try. This was very easy to make (crock pot) and the rice is AMAZING.
Santa Fe Chicken Wraps from Fairhope Foodie-
1-1/2 lbs. chicken breasts (I used 3)
1 can Rotel, undrained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz. frozen corn (or the kernels from 3 ears)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped (whites and a little bit of the green)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, Rotel, cilantro, scallion, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and salt and pepper in the crock pot. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and nestle down in the juices. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6 hours. 30 minutes before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust seasoning if needed. You can serve this over rice and top with desired toppings, or wrapped in a tortilla. 

Next up is the Mexican Rice from the Pioneer Woman! I had fun making this and anytime I make a Mexican dish, this is a must for a side.  
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • ½ whole Large Onion, Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 cups Long Grain Rice
  • 1 can Rotel (10 Ounce)
  • 1 can Whole Tomatoes (14.5 Ounce)
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (more If Needed)
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin (more To Taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and garlic, then cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add rice and garlic. Stir constantly, making sure the rice doesn’t burn. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes.
Add Ro-tel and tomatoes. Stir to combine and let cook for 2 minutes.
Finally, add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 additional minutes or until rice is done. Add more liquid as needed; rice shouldn’t be sticky. Just before serving, sprinkle lots of freshly chopped cilantro over the top. Serve immediately.
Here is all the yummy food. The rice makes enough for an army so it's great for guests. I would say about 8 side servings. 
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Road Trip & Celebrations!

My sister is coming to town this weekend!! There's been slight changes in logistics plans though. We're meeting half way so she can bring Maddie and Bella! We'll be stopping in Louisiana (no where too exciting since we are trying to stay on I-20). Road Trip! Here are some photos of the little fur babies we'll be transporting with us.
Aren't they so cute!
Happy Birthday to my Brother, Chris!! Have a few drinks for us! 
and lastly, Happy Father's Day to my dad and all the dads out there! Hope everyone has a great weekend. We're doing a pool party/father's day celebration with David's side. Happy Father's Day Frank!
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Top Three Thursday-Places to Shop

This week's top three is on places to shop! I am not a huge shopper, I guess I could/would be if I had all the money in the world.
 1.Target- You can get everything there. If I could pick only one place, this would be it. I like their clothes, shoes, decorations, basically everything. 
2. Ann Taylor Loft/The Limited- I used to shop at the Limited all the time, but the quality of the clothes aren't as long lasting as I'd like. They don't wash that well, so I only occasionally go there now. I have switched to liking Ann Taylor Loft (and their outlet).
3. Coach Factory Outlet- I really should put Kroger here since I go at least once a week and spend about $300 a month there. That was boring so I chose Coach Outlet.  It is so fun in there and I love trying to go to find deals. In my opinion you should never pay full price for a coach purse. I only go probably twice a year, or I'd be in trouble. This sounds like I have a million purses, but I only have 1 and 1 wallet (that's self control). I have been to look for deals for my sister/family though.

What are your top 3 places to shop? Pin It
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